• The Sunny Side of Life

    I love Republicans. If Tim Kaine wins tomorrow, it means...George Allen is awesome !
  • I Got Skillz

    Important things you should know about my weekend, as told to you by Tommy : Really, I have only two important things to report. First, Ezra Klein can do that back-flip-to-standing thingy. You know, where you're lying down, and kick your legs, and then BANG!, you're back up. That seems pretty good for a member of the punditocracy, right? Do you think Krugman can do that shit? I'll tell you right now, he can't. And if you've got the choice between two authors writing intelligently about national healthcare, BUT one of them may also be able to do a spin-kick, which one are you going to read? It's obvious. Ezra brings the value-add. Second, I am a million years old. We played touch football for what, 45 minutes? My limbs were already stiffening up by the end. The next day my legs ached, my abs ached, and I was pretty sure I had turf toe, despite not actually knowing what that is. Apparently the elliptical trainer and the ruthless physicality of the software development game isn't keeping...
  • I Need Answers, Dammit!

    Can someone explain the rationale of a Daschle 08 candidacy to me? He's hinting at a campaign, raising money , and now advertising across blogs with a PAC called "New Leadership for America" whose front page is a pledge to bring the troops home by 2007. Huh? Daschle was no peacenik, he voted for the war. And he was no liberal, either. As senate minority leader, he was a sound parliamentarian but neither a mobilizing force nor an electric personality for the party's base. He was not associated with any particular issue, like health care or energy, and he was not effective as head of the opposition. He lost an election to an empty suit and his successor is widely considered to be doing a better job than he did. Now, I like Tom Daschle. Always have, always will. A good public servant with a good heart. But he had no major accomplishments as a senator, the party lost seats under his leadership, he was nothing even resembling a liberal, he showed no particular electoral skill, and he's...
  • Inventive Parasites

    Sorry to be doing so much random quoting today, but I keep running into interesting thing s that I'm not really qualified to comment on: In "Bugs in the Brain," he describes a parasite that infects the brains of rats without any effect on their behavior except that they lose their instinctual aversion to the smell of cats and, instead, are drawn to it. Needless to say, such absurdly obliging prey is quickly gobbled up: bad for the rat but great for the parasite, since it can only reproduce inside a cat host. The next generation hitches a ride out on the cat's feces, which are ingested by rats to start the cycle over again. "This is flabbergasting," Sapolsky writes. "This is like someone getting infected with a brain parasite that has no effect whatsoever on the person's thoughts, emotions, S.A.T. scores or television preferences, but, to complete its life cycle, generates an irresistible urge to go to the zoo, scale a fence, and French-kiss" the meanest-looking polar bear. Nature is...
  • A Vote For Corzine is a Vote for the Arts

    You know, making sure that Doug Forrester doesn't appoint Habibullah Salleem poet laureate of New Jersey may well be the best reason I've yet heard to vote for Corzine. That's not because the other reasons to vote for Corzine aren't good, but because Saleem is just so mind-twistingly bad .
  • Life According to LaRouche

    History according to the LaRoucheites: When then-Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche put out the word, on Sept. 20, 2002, that "Vice President Dick Cheney's recurring wet dreams of a U.S. worldwide Roman Empire are, in and of themselves, the world's greatest single threat to the continuation of civilization in any part of the planet today," and that "these facts demand that Cheney's prompt resignation be sought, and accepted," the majority of Democrats and Republicans were shocked. True, many of them knew that Cheney was the "brains" behind President Bush's war drive, including the National Security Strategy of pre-emptive war, which had just been promulgated. They may have hated him—but they didn't think anything could be done about it. See how events have proven them wrong! Over the past three years, LaRouche's relentless initiatives and flanks, mass circulation of literature, and deployment of the LaRouche Youth Movement on the Cheney question, have emboldened members of both...
  • More Signs of Our System's Impending Collapse

    From the "we're all screwed" department : //--> Federal spending on the uninsured has not kept pace with the growing number of Americans who have no health care insurance, according to a report. As the number of uninsured Americans increased by 4.6 million from 2001 to 2004, net federal spending per uninsured person fell $546, to $498, during the same period, according to the findings from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. After adjusting for inflation, total federal spending for care for the uninsured increased by 1.3 percent from 2001 to 2004 while the number of uninsured increased by 11.2 percent, resulting in an 8.9 percent decline in federal spending per uninsured person...
  • The Non-Problems With Not Torturing

    By Neil the Ethical Werewolf Kevin Drum and Mark Kleiman point out that oft-cited pieces of false information about Iraq training al-Qaeda operatives to use WMD were extracted under torture. Examples like this are important for the pragmatic case against torture. People being tortured don't try to say true things; they say whatever they think will make their suffering stop. Using torture will bring us lots of false information, and relying heavily on it may lead our foreign policy into catastrophic errors.
  • "It's illegal to break the law" and other things most people know

    An open letter to the President from Res Publica I have never had any sort of formal training in ethics, beyond a perfunctory overview in an undergrad survey course in philosophy. I’ve learned a lot more about the moral life from novels than from ethicists. The majority of my ethical instincts were probably formed in the contexts of my family, my church, and my friends. In all of this, I am probably like most Americans. Unless those Americans hold positions at the highest levels of government, apparently.
  • Ah-nold Is Definitely a Girly Man

    By Pepper of the Daily Pepper Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger blocked Warren Beatty and Annette Bening from entering one of his campaign rallies . In his heyday, Schwarzenegger fought off all manner of bad guys and always made a big show of being exactly the same as his stage persona. Unlike other actors, who didn't want to be stereotyped, Schwarzenegger reveled in being the tough guy both on and off the screen. He shouldn't have done that. Because Schwarzenegger has just demonstrated that he is afraid of the same guy who was in Ishtar .